By Alan Kilpatrick
The April 24th, 2015 issue of The Lawyers Weekly highlights an important step forward for self-represented litigants in Saskatchewan. Members of the Law Society of Saskatchewan access the online edition of The Lawyer’s Weekly for free through the Members’ Section.
This past March, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal awarded a self-represented litigant named Kevin Hope with costs beyond out-of-pocket expenses in Hope v Pylypow, 2015 SKCA 26. The article explains that:
The March 27 decision, in Hope v. Pylypow  S.J. No. 122, written by Chief Justice Robert G. Richards, reflects the continuing effort by courts across Canada to level the playing field for self-represented litigants and brings Saskatchewan in line with other provinces. Self-represented litigants have traditionally been compensated only for their out-of-pocket expenses if they win a case.
In the written decision, the judge clarified his reasoning behind awarding costs beyond out-of-pocket expenses:
 …the time has come to review and update the governing principles in this area. There are problems with the established Saskatchewan approach to costs awards involving self-represented litigants. It is important that our practice be brought into line with the one used in other Canadian jurisdictions.
In the article, Kara-Dawn Jordan, the Executive Director of Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan, stated that the Appeal Court decision was a significant milestone for self-represented litigants in Saskatchewan, and expressed her satisfaction with the outcome: “I was really happy to see that they did pay some attention to the work that the self-represented litigant was doing on his own…”
CanLII. (2015, March 27). Hope v Pylypow, 2015 SKCA 26. Retrieved from http://canlii.ca/t/ggwxh.
The Lawyers Weekly. (2015, April 24). First for Self-represented Litigants in Saskatchewan. Retrieved from http://www.lawyersweekly.ca.